49ers take their first road trip of the season
It has been a dream start to the 2021 season for the 49ers. They get their first power five conference win in school history against Duke in a thriller; then they avoid the letdown against Gardner-Webb, routing them 38-10. What do these two wins have in common? They were both home games. The 49ers face their first road test of the season against the Panthers of Georgia State.
Photo creditDale Zanine, GSU Athletics
Scouting the Panthers
This is a very experienced team with a lot of depth. They have six players that used the “Covid year” of eligibility to play an extra year. Their one area of youth that is critical is at the quarterback position.
Cornelious Brown IV is a redshirt sophomore who stands at 6’5, 200 lbs. He can hurt teams on the ground and through the air. While Brown IV has not had a passing touchdown yet this season, that is, in large part due to the team’s high volume run-game. He himself had a rushing touchdown against UNC-Chapel Hill in their second game of the season.
He will be someone that Charlotte will look to contain if they want to leave Atlanta with the victory.
These Panthers might not have Christian McCaffrey, but they do have an elder running back who will look to give the 49ers fits all game long.
Senior running back Destin Coates will be someone the 49ers will have to be vigilant of all games as well. He leads the Panthers in rush yards. He is a 2021 preseason All-Sun Belt First Team selection. For a team like Charlotte who has not had the easiest time defending the run so far this season, this will not be an easy task.
“It is not hard to see the talent running all over the field,” head coach Will Healy had to say about Georgia State in the team’s mid-week press conference. “We’ve got an opportunity this week to play a great football team and I mean that.”
Despite their 0-2 record, Healy recognizes the Panthers’ talent and will have to have his troops in the best shape to win. “We are going to prepare for this thing until kickoff,” Healy added.
Aid to the run-defense
It has been the big question all season, when will transfer Jalar Holley from the University of Miami get to play in the green and gold uniforms? Well, that answer is simply, this week. The former three-star recruit from Buford high school will look to provide an immediate aid on the defensive line for the 49ers.
Healy had previously mentioned Holley as being a guy that could line up a defensive tackle or defensive end, so it’ll be worth keeping an eye on where #97 is lining up on Saturday night for Marcus West’s unit.
49ers’ Injury Update
Geovante Howard was injured in the opening game against Duke and has been rehabbing over the last week or so. Along with Howard, Derek Boykins is also making progress and will hope to return to action soon as well. Tank Robinson is out for the year with a torn bicep.
“All those guys (Howard and Boykins) are looking a lot better,” Healy said. “Obviously the one who is out for the year is Tank (Robinson).”
Howard is listed on the most recent two-deep roster as a starter for the upcoming week. However, Derek Boykins is not listed on the two-deep roster yet.
Though not injury related, it’s worth noting that a prized recruit from the 2020 class Elijah Turner is no longer with the program per Coach Healy.
How to catch the action
This week’s game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Tune in on Saturday, Sep. 18 at 7 p.m.